Parrot Trivia: Background information when reading The Sea Gate

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The Sea Gate

by Jane Johnson

The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson X
The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson
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    Jan 2021, 416 pages

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Kim Kovacs
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Parrot Trivia

This article relates to The Sea Gate

African Grey ParrotOne of the characters in Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, is a foul-mouthed, multilingual African grey parrot (Psittacus Erithacus). Parrots are members of the Psittacidae family, which is comprised of over 300 species including lovebirds, cockatoos, macaws and budgerigars (aka "budgies"). While most people are broadly familiar with parrots, there's a lot of interesting trivia and history that isn't common knowledge.

  • The oldest parrot fossil on record is from the Eocene Epoch, about 50 million years ago, and was discovered in what is now Denmark.
  • Historical records indicate that parrots have been valued as pets going back thousands of years in Asia, Europe and South America.
  • Alexander the Great brought pet parakeets to Greece in 327 BCE from the region that is now India; the Alexandrine parakeet is named after him.
  • The Romans employed full-time parrot teachers (in 77 CE, Pliny the Elder recommended hitting the birds over the head with a steel pipe to help them learn faster!).
  • ...

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